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Old 10-22-2012, 02:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Offcamber View Post
I give them as wide a birth as possible but in my opinion, if the horse is out where it will encounter motorcycles or ATVs etc....the rider should have control of the animal. It's really not my responsibility to make sure their horse doesn't get spooked. I don't buzz by them at high speed but I'm not going to sit and wait while they pass or wait for instructions as to how they would like me to pass. I treat them like anyone else I meet, give them room and slow down as I pass....
Our house is on my brothers horse farm, he, his wife and daughters are heavily into the equistrian thing but I have no interest.
Their opinion is that a slow and easy pass is all that should be nessary unless the horse starts to spook, then you should just stop and let the rider regain control.

It is the responsibility of the equestrian to ride in locations suitable for the horses and riders skill level.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
I didn't read the thread, but I'll tell ya one thing. You sure as hell don't want to marry one.

You're welcome,
Buddy of mine is living with one right now. BSC doesn't BEGIN to describe a horse person.

AFA the passing the horses: I'm usually on a pedal bike, so will slow down and talk to the horse as I'm coming up on it 'howya doin, horse?!' stuff like that. I figger it lets em know I'm a person not a thing. So far its been working.

On a moto, I'll usually putt by slowly as far away as possible.

I don't typically stop. I'll be as courteous as I can, but I'm gonna keep going.

I'm a cyclist that rides motos, not a moto rider that rides bicycles.
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:33 PM   #18
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Q: What's the quickest way to turn a pristine mountain meadow into a shit filled, mud hole.

A: Let a few horses walk through it.

Those stinky, fly infested, pestilent shit bags have no business on public lands. They do much more damage to our beloved forest and desert land than all OHV's combined, yet because they are dubiously enshrined in folk lore, they are held harmless, regardless of the environmental damage they wreak upon the lands. It is every every outdoor loving patriot's responsibility to lobby to get those flea bags banned from our parks, forests and range. On private land, people can do as they wish, as long as they keep the smell off of others property..

OTH, there are humans involved, and I think you accorded them a due amount of respect. Your primary concern should be for your own safety. Those ungainly nags can be highly unpredictable, stay as far away as terrain permits and pass by slowly. Next, you must accord the riders the same amount of respect as you would any other person on a dirt road don't kick up dust, don't roost them, don't pass at high speeds or cause them any other grief and yield to uphill traffic.

On a trail is dangerous situation, I'd park my bike, dismount, move to a safe distance and plug your nose with thumb and forefinger. In addition to protecting your sense of smell, this will send the appropriate message to the equestrian rider.
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glasswave screwed with this post 10-22-2012 at 10:58 PM
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:17 PM   #19
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Thanks for the input. I asked a couple of horse guys I work with and they both said that I probably did the right thing. They also said that no one should ride a horse on a public road/trail that is skittish when confronted by vehicles. Still, I feel as if I should have at least shut my bike off and asked about how they would want me to pass, which is what I will do the next time.

I'm personally not a horse person having had some bad experiences when I was a young. I decided early on that dirt bikes were a lot more safe given that if I crash, it would typically be my fault and not due to an animal many times my size. Still, I respect someone's right to ride and here in Arkansas, horse riders are for the most part, pretty nice people. We have a lot of multi-use trails in our National Forests and the mountain bikers, dirt bikers and horseback riders seem to all do their part in keeping the trails open (maintenance, etc.).

As far as damage caused by horses, their impact is far less than the redneck ATVers I've seen.

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Old 10-22-2012, 09:15 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Wookazoid View Post
[I think] horse riders are for the most part, pretty nice people.

As far as damage caused by horses, their impact is far less than the redneck ATVers I've seen.
Yeah, horse riders are nice people for the most part, they can't really seem to help their affinity for those nags. We should pity them really.

In terms of damage, there is one critical difference, ATV's are not allowed to run roughshod over our parks and wilderness lands like horses.

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Old 10-22-2012, 10:10 PM   #21
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I've run into them in the Madison County Wildlife area near Eureka many times. I slow to a crawl or stop and let them pass. Then when they are clear I ease off. I don't know if that is the right approach but I figure it's easier than putting a splint on the rider and calling animal control to collect the horse.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:30 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by glasswave View Post
In terms of damage, there is one critical difference, ATV's are not allowed to run roughshod over our parks and wilderness lands like horses.
^^ this.

Close to cities (I've lived in Sacramento and LA) here in Californistan, we have a lot of "no motor vehicles" trails. Fair enough--they're busy enough with hikers that I wouldn't want to ride them anyway. But some horse people insist on taking horses on trails that are too narrow for two hikers to pass. Some of them also don't stay off the trails when wet, and guess what--horses erode wet trails just like you'd imagine 1500-lb objects would.

Motor vehicles are prohibited from a lot of the forest roads during the wet season because the soil makes the roads easy to damage. Horses on wet, highly erosive hiking trails, though? No problem.

Most of them are cool, though. Nearly all the dirt I ride is on FS land, which in CA is only legal to ride if it's a designated road or motor vehicle trail. I slow down to a fast walk and pass as far away as I can. I've never had any issues, but I don't feel like it's my job to stop, kill the engine and take off my helmet--if a horse can't see a vehicle without spooking, it shouldn't be on a road.

The 'wilderness' thing pisses me off in some places... I can ride a what amounts to a fire road in the dry season with no impact whatsoever, but it's illegal. Meanwhile, horses can damage the trail all winter and shit on it year-round, no problem. I get the purpose of wilderness, but it seems pointless in areas that had roads before they became wilderness, especially now that off-road travel is illegal on most of our FS land.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:38 PM   #23
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:53 PM   #24
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There was an (in)famous report in the UK a couple of years ago where some do-gooders tried to stop microlights from being based out of a strip near a field that regularly had horses in it. Main thing was they did not go talk to the stable owner before starting their campaign. When the reporters spoke to the stable owner his comment was that he has loads of fields well away from the microlights and that he deliberately rotates his younger horses through the fields near the airfield before anyone rides then on the road to get them used to vehicles whilst they are on a large open space, before they encounter vehicles in the comparatively confined roadside locations. The do-gooders kind of went quiet after that

Oh back on topic: There is a biker cafe near me that is also in a horse riding area so you at times we can talk to the riders, most of them said that cyclists (particularly road bikes, but sometimes mountain bikes) are usually more of a problem because they are quiet, fast moving and surprise the horse. All they wanted from motorised vehicles was a slow speed, low revs (including knowing how to mimimize any exhaust popping) and to give as much clearance as is safe to do so.
To me as much clearance as is safe on some narrow roads is stop and wait although that does assume that the horse is coming towards you.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:16 PM   #25
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on the road i just slow down and give them room. but you get a lot of horse rides on public roads using them on the wrong side of the road.

i now this becouse i was riding my road legal pitbike on a back road near my house and had to do a sudden stop. As i met a horse on the wrong side of the road and the horse rider had the balls to tell me i was in the wrong. i just started to tell her to this and that and to read the high way code and get on to the right side of the road. it was luck i was not going that fast doing about 50mph in a 60mph zone.
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Old 10-23-2012, 03:36 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by rocker59 View Post


I haven't been horse riding for ages I used to have horses but sadly my pockets weren't deep enough at least motobikes don't keep eating if you're not riding

my friend at work rides ... she does eventing and such ... and fell off a few days ago and ended up with a fractured forearm ... "damned dangerous critters" I told her ..."you should get something safe like a motorcycle"

I live near a pony club arena ... if I see kids around on their geegees I just go real slow and quiet past them ... or stop if the steed looks fidgety.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:40 AM   #27
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some times the horses are not sure what that thing is all they see is a horse monster {when in atgatt helmet and such the horse do'nt see a human], if they git spooked remove helmet some times so horse can see what you are.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:04 AM   #28
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The question has been answered, so i'll go off topic.

Horse riders are generally treated a a privileged class.
A good friend road raced a TZ250 in the '80s. He said if he had to do it all over again.
he would have used an enclosed two horse trailer as he never saw one cited for speeding in his 6 years of towing his trailer in the Western States.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:18 AM   #29
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On a trail, meeting them head on I kill my engine and get out of their way. Passing them I will stop and wait till they are out of my way, (or till I get tired of waiting for them to do so). On a road, meeting them I will slow and stay as far to the other side as I can, stopping if needed for them to get over. Passing them I will stop back a ways and let them get over if they are going to, then pass. I’ll be very polite, but if they take a horse out in public places, especially a road, they should have a horse that can be controlled. My bikes are quiet and I’ll give them room, but if they have a skittish or high strung horse that’s their problem not mine.
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:52 AM   #30
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I got the "remove helmet" thing from a lady on the trail who told me that we look like "Predator" to the horses with them on. Ran into the same lady a couple of years later and she told me the exact same thing... guess she had a fascination with that.

I don't have any problem going out of my way to accomodate the horse riders, but I think it's a mutual deal. My encounter this past weekend was peculiar in the fact that the riders didn't do anything at all for a few moments, other than stare at me. I don't know if they didn't know what to do or what. I've run into several organized trail rides and there is always one or two horses that react to the bike or myself. Last year my wife and I were on the side of a "designated" forest road, off of the bikes and helmets off taking a break when a group of riders came by. I thought one horse was going to pitch it's rider. Found out later that there were stables on down the road and this was just one of their rides with what appeared to be inexperienced riders. That scares me as I don't want to see someone get hurt.

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